How many tobacco violations can a retailer be charged with for each transaction? On March 20, 2018, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit decided Orton Motor, Inc. v. U.S. Dep’t of Health & Human Servs., No. 16-1299 (D.C. Cir.), upholding the FDA Center for Tobacco Products’ (“CTP”) practice of counting multiple violations, even if all violations occurred within a single consumer transaction.
Continue Reading

In a pending vapor industry challenge to the FDA’s Deeming Regulations, on March 22, 2018, the Court permitted several anti-tobacco advocacy and public health groups to intervene in the litigation as Codefendants and, at the same time, stayed the case pending the decision of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit in Nicopure Labs, LLC, et al. v. FDA, et al., No. 17-5196 (D.C. Cir.). The case is Cyclops Vapor 2, LLC, et al. v. FDA, et al., No. 2:16-cv-00556 (M.D. Ala.).
Continue Reading

Over the last few weeks, the vapor industry plaintiffs and a number of supporters have filed briefs in an appeal of a decision upholding the FDA’s Deeming Regulations.  On July 21, 2017, a federal district court rejected the industry plaintiffs’ challenge, and the case is now on appeal to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit.
Continue Reading

In July 2017, California Attorney General Xavier Becerra filed a lawsuit against a Canadian cigarette manufacturer, Grand River Enterprises Six Nations (“Grand River”), for failing to comply with California laws governing nonparticipating tobacco product manufacturers (“NPMs”). The lawsuit alleges that Grand River, an NPM, sold hundreds of millions of cigarettes in California in 2014, 2015, and 2016, and failed to make escrow payments of over $13 million.
Continue Reading

Another challenge from the cigar industry has been filed against the FDA’s Deeming Regulations. Among the plaintiffs are a premium cigar retailer/lounge, a premium cigar manufacturer, and a non-profit association comprised of premium cigar manufacturers and retailers. The case is En Fuego Tobacco Shop LLC, et al. v. U.S. Food & Drug Administration, et al., No. 4:18-cv-00028 (E.D. Tex.).
Continue Reading

A series of challenges to the Deeming Regulations has recently been filed by several vapor-product manufacturers, retailers, and a non-profit supporting the industry. These are constitutional challenges, advanced with representation from the Pacific Legal Foundation (“PLF”). The cases are Rave Salon, Inc. v. Gottlieb, et al., No. 3:18-cv-237 (N.D. Tex.); Hoban, et al. v. Food & Drug Administration, et al., No. 0:18-cv-269 (D. Minn.); Moose Jooce, et al. v. Food & Drug Administration, et al., No. 1:18-cv-203 (D.D.C.).
Continue Reading

In a nearly 250-page Memorandum Opinion and Order, the Honorable James O. Browning of the U.S. District Court for the District of New Mexico has granted in part and denied in part a Motion to Dismiss filed by Defendants Santa Fe Natural Tobacco Co., Reynolds American, Inc., and R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co. The case is In re Santa Fe Natural Tobacco Co. Marketing & Sales Practices Litigation, No. 1:16-md-02695 (D.N.M.).

By way of background, this multidistrict litigation involves class actions filed by Plaintiffs across various states and under those various states’ respective laws, all directed toward the use of certain descriptors in Natural American Spirit (“NAS”) cigarettes’ packaging, labeling, and advertising.
Continue Reading